Keys to the Kingdom Part 1

Written by Jim Staley
Keys to the Kingdom Part 1

In the last post we talked about how, according to 1 Corinthians 12, the Spirit only gives His gifts to spiritual “idiots,” those who choose to learn only from Him. Unfortunately, we are so programmed to think of “learning” with our physical minds that we will completely miss what He is saying. He is not saying that you cannot learn from preachers, teachers, personal study, books, etc…that learning is good, too. But that learning is all on the works/obedience side of the coin. On that side of the coin, we learn ABOUT spiritual things that we can apply to our lives. On the Spirit/faith side of the coin, we “learn” and “absorb” directly from the Spirit, the “spirituals.” In the text, the word “gifts” does not exist. So technically, verse 1 says, “Brothers, about the spirituals, I don’t want you to be ignorant.” On the Spirit side of the coin, we don’t learn ABOUT spiritual things, we LEARN spiritual things. And there is a big difference.

Before I share the other revelations that came the night we started diving into 1 Corinthians 12, I want to share a chess analogy. In chess, there are two things that you have to focus on: offense and defense…at the same time. If you only play defense, you may be safe and secure but it is only a matter of time before your opponent will be willing to sacrifice his pieces to break open what is called your “castle” (the pieces surrounding and protecting your king). If you only play offense, your opponent will quickly take advantage of your castle being so loosely defended.

In the same way, if we live our lives serving God by only studying His Word, seeking to keep His commandments, and trying to apply the biblical things that we LEARN, then that is like playing an excellent defense against the enemy. Keeping God’s commandments brings blessings in this world: protection against the enemy forces’ attempts to gain legal access to your “castle.” But just like in real chess, it is only a matter of time before he is willing to ratchet up his game and make a few sacrifices to get you to move your pieces. And like they say, sometimes the best defense is a good offense. So how do we play offense? Well, the enemy is in the spirit realm, so keeping commandments, and anything that we are doing in this physical realm cannot defeat him. It only allows the angels to protect us. If we are going to actively go up against the gates of hell, we have to go into that realm, the spirit realm, with the spirit-man, through the SPIRIT…by faith. THIS is where the war is and how it is truly fought.

For decades the Father has been teaching His bride that His commandments are critical in staying in proper alignment with Him. They are not for salvation, but they are for spiritual alignment. They build a great defense. But now that His remnant bride has started to figure out how to play defense, the agenda of the Spirit is to do exactly what He did with the Israelites when they first came out of Egypt. He taught them the Torah at Mt. Sinai and then He began to prepare them to be warriors so that they would be ready for the giants across the river. This is where we are at. Our waist is girded with Truth (His Torah). We have the breastplate of righteousness (keeping His divine Laws). Our feet are shod with the Gospel of peace and the helmet of salvation (we believe in Yeshua and the restoration of the Kingdom). But we lack the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

This “Word of God” is not the black and white print that we read in our Bibles. It is the REAL Word of God that is above the plain text. It is the Word that was before the “Word.” It is the Word that created the universe. In Greek, the word is “rhema” as opposed to “logos.” The “rhema” is the inspired word of the Spirit. It’s the word that comes by the Spirit and through the Spirit for a particular situation…for offense, for purpose. It does not have the connotation of the written Word as a whole, but a pin-pointed word for an exact purpose. That is why Ephesians 6 says we need the SWORD of the Spirit. The end of the sword aims for a specific point on its enemy and is an offensive weapon. It is this weapon that we are after. In order to grow our spirit man, we must first learn that it does not operate like our natural man. The sword of the Spirit can only be held by the Spirit. As a whole, the Word of God is a powerful, two-edged sword designed to pierce bone and marrow. If it is used by the natural man, it will bring destruction. If it is wielded by the Spirit, it brings life. I believe this will all make more sense as we continue on our journey.

Let’s first look at Matthew 16:18. It says, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (small rock), and on THIS rock (large rock (Yeshua)), I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.”

The word “key” is where I want to focus. This word shows up only eight times in the entire Bible and because it is said to be so significant that it can affect the gates of hell, I think it is critical to understand it. This is exactly what the Spirit led us to do that night.

In the New Testament, there are only 6 references to “key” in this context. Three of them are referencing Yeshua having the keys of authority over the bottomless pit and death (Revelation 1:18, 9:1 and 20:1). The other three are in Luke 11:52, Revelation 3:7 and Matthew 16:19. We have already looked at Matthew 16:19. The Luke passage is where the religious leaders have stolen away the “key of knowledge” through their doctrines and traditions. The “key of knowledge” is the Torah itself. The first-century religious leaders had created so many fence laws around the commandments of God to make sure the people didn’t break the real laws that the people didn’t even know what was the real law and what was the traditional law anymore. Only the real law of God brings knowledge. This “key” of knowing and doing His commandments is the “key of knowledge” that LEADS to the “keys to the Kingdom.” One is the key on one side of the coin and one is the key on the other side. Both keys are required to fully unlock the Kingdom inside of you. Once we understand the Luke passage, that leaves us the passage in Revelation, which is actually a quote from Isaiah, which is the main passage that we are going to focus on for the rest of this entry.

Before I begin, I need to share something that is important to me. Most of you know that my number is 222, which comes from 2 Timothy 2:2. So, anything “2, 22, 222, etc…” gets my attention and reminds me of my calling. It’s my “God wink”. Last summer, when sister Grace from the Philippines stayed at my house, she handed me a large plastic key that she said the Spirit told her to purchase for me from a tourist store in the city of Philadelphia. She gave it to me but didn’t know why. She also handed me a polished brass plate that He had instructed her to give me.  When she handed them to me, I placed the key into the brass plate as I thanked her. I then happened to look down into the plate.  I saw myself in the reflection of the brass with the key running across my shoulder. I felt the Holy Spirit in that moment and knew He was trying to speak to me something significant, but I didn’t know what.  A few weeks later, I was helping my daughter purchase her first car and while we were having lunch, the Spirit told me to look up Isaiah 22:22-23. I thought that was a pretty cool number, but I had no idea what it said. When I read it, I almost fell over.

Although on the p’shat (literal) level the passage in Isaiah is talking about the investiture of Eliakim. There is no doubt that on a different level (Remez-hint), it is Messianic in nature and talking about the key that is laid on HIS shoulders. And by extension, it is laid on the congregation that is attached to Him, which is all of us. Each of us are given the key. Whether we understand it or know how to use it is a different story.  Are you ready to discover your key?  Here is what the verse said when I looked it up.

The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut, and he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. Isaiah 22:22-23

The Father has given us His key and He began taking me on a trail of breadcrumbs to understand its meaning. This is the only spiritual key mentioned in the entire Old Testament and is the SAME key that is mentioned in Revelation 3:16, the same key that is given to the church through Peter to tear down the gates of Hell. If this is the only spiritual key that is given to us, I think we better understand it, don’t you? Okay. Then let’s break this down.

In the Greek, we really don’t get much help as it just means a “key,” either physically or figuratively. But in the original Paleo, pictograph Hebrew, it comes alive! In the Strong’s, it is number 4668, which is maf-tay’-akh, spelled mem, pey, tav, chet, which means, an utterance, an opening, or opener. Even in the natural meaning, we are now getting somewhere. The second you say, “an utterance,” you have put this into the realm of the mouth, or specifically the “gate” of the mouth. Let’s dive into the pictograph and watch this come alive.

The letter “Mem” stands for cleansing water, or flowing water that brings life, much like the waters during Noah’s flood. It may have looked like chaos, but those waters destroyed with the purpose of bringing renewed life. The letter “Pey” literally means mouth, to utter or speak.Tav” is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet and means covenant, or mark. To hit the mark is to make covenant. To miss the mark (sin), is to miss covenant. Lastly, the letter “Chet” is a picture of a fence, specifically the fence around the tabernacle, and meant protect, word of God or fence. So, let’s put all this together to get a very powerful definition of what “key” actually means in the mind of Yahweh. Maphteach (key), is The WATER that FLOWS through the MOUTH of the COVENANT and is the Protective WORD! What is He describing? The SWORD OF THE SPIRIT that He has put into our mouths!

For the skeptics out there, all we have to do is go to the root word for “Maphteach,” which is pathach (paw-thakh’), Strong’s 6605, and this whole study on the “key” starts to really begin to unlock the very big door we’re knocking on. Pathach means to open wide, loosen, plow, carve, engrave upon. But watch this. It goes on to say, “Although the basic meaning of pathach is to open, the word is extended to mean to cause to flow, to offer for sale, to conquer, to surrender, to draw a sword, and to free.”

The root word to the Hebrew word key means to cause to flow, surrender, conquer, and draw a sword. Wow! Now we’re starting to get somewhere. The key that is given to Yeshua, and to His people, is a SWORD that is designed to be drawn for the purpose of destroying the dam which will cause the WATER of His Word to FLOW, which CONQUERS the enemy and causes him to SURRENDER and sets the captives FREE from the gates of Hell!! The KEY IS THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT! It’s the Rhema Word!

The Church of God was given this key. It does not reside in the physical man, but in the spirit man, the spiritual temple. Knowing the Word of God does not wield the key. Memorizing it doesn’t draw it, either. Practicing the commandments, following the Feast Days, or following the right calendar, all of which are good and holy, do not put the enemy on the run. Those are all done using the physical senses and are all still on the works/obedience side of the coin, which is the key of knowledge. The Keys to the Kingdom are spiritual and must be used in that way. Next time, we will go further to discover who these keys are actually given to, which will hopefully reveal to us a bit more of what the Spirit is trying to get us to see in our journey with Him.

Jim Staley